heavy like dogs with cement shoes walking my skull…

I try to keep people
                                    out of here.
people
            never
                      do me any good.
especially their
                            conversation.

after listening to them
                                         for hours
I realize that their words have
nothing to do with
                                  anything

that they are only lonely and
cowardly
and need to
                      expell their
spiritual gasses
to be
         sniffed…

no matter how hard I try to
lock them away and out
some
         slip through
usually upon the
                              grounds that
they have done something good
      for me

nothing good for me can be
done
         unless I do it
                                alone

but at times
                      I find myself
being kind to them
                       on some
principal of foolishness
and then
                they are there
across from me and
                around me.

this one night
                         after hours of
drinking
                I looked up and
saw these faces
                            without
names
             gathered about the
coffeetable
                    saying things
this
       particular night they
are upon Celine
                             they know
that I like
              Celine

“Celine went mad,” one of
them says.

well, you know,
when a man goes mad
it sometimes means that
he does or says things
that seem extremely impractical
to those who believe and act
otherwise.

I never consider a man
mad
when he disagrees or acts
against
the few things I believe
have value

I only consider him
to be
         a dull and dumb
         fellow
more to be avoided
than to be
                   attacked.

well
        this night they
went on
               they were very liberal
and conscientious sorts
                                           taught to
say what they must say
schooled in the Humanities

and I looked over
at my cat
                 and I
thought
               my cat looks
               better
knows more
and best
                he
doesn’t have to
pretend anything
defend anything
or believe anything.

“Celine,” I told
them, “wrote better
than any of you
talk.”

“but he became
more and more
demented…”
they told me.

“if so,” I said,
“at least he had
something to
lose.”

and that’s what
they wanted:
response:
get the old
boy going
get him
pissed.

(talk with them
and you become
them)

I
  shut up and
continued drinking

from Celine it went
to somewhere
                          else.
Kerouac was mentioned
more in name
                          than
in reason.

and then
somebody said, “The Catcher
in the Rye,”
                     and then
we all knew
                      we knew
something.
                    Ginsberg was
brought in
                    petted and
dismissed.
                   Burroughs was
still o.k.
              but hardly
              interesting
anymore.
                 Mailer, well hell,
that’s big publishing, and
Creeley, you know, well
those breath-pauses were
out-dated
                 but meeting him
was nice: he was just naturally
nasty
          it was
                     frightening.
Ferlinghetti was asleep in the
                     back room
and who could
                           ever read
Tolstoy?
               Poe was a best seller
in Europe and
                          Hemingway would
have been called a fag
                        nowadays and
did you know that
                                  William
Saroyan had other men
                                        writing
his stuff
               in his later years?
Henry Miller, well, he
died.
               — — —

in the morning
                           when I awakened
I was
          sick
                 turned toward the
window
              white yellow grease of
morning
                burning my
                                      eyes

next to me in bed
                                there
                                          she
said to me, “you weren’t
very nice
                 to those people
last night.”

“are they gone?”

“are they gone?   yes, you
made sure of that!”

“how are the cats? have we
fed the cats?”

I got out of bed and went
to the
          bathroom
                            there was
nobody in the
                         bathroom
just
       myself.
it was a
              most pleasant
and decent
                    feeling

I did what I had to
                                  do
and came
                  out.

she was
               sitting up in
                                      bed
waiting for me.
“you just drink,” she
said, “you just drink and
drink.   you can’t face
people.”

“that’s true,” I
said.

“my god,” she said
leaning back upon her
pillow.

I climbed into bed
beside her.

and she
               climbed out of
bed and
went to the
                     bathroom
and I laid there and
thought
               the people are
gone
         all the people are
gone
         I can breath and
         I can stretch my
legs
       and nobody is
talking
       about anything.

and from my place
on the bed
                   I could
look out of the
                 window
and I could see the
tops of trees and
I could see the
                bridge
and it looked like
a fairly good
                      day.
reasonable and
        true enough
and I pulled the
        blankets
over myself
                      and
stretched away free
as I heard the
toilet flush.

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